Blogs - Blogs
Monday, June 23, 2014

ICYMI: Vitter Op-Ed "Time to Update Decades-Old Red Snapper Fishery Allocations"
Houma Courier Op-Ed: Protecting red snapper fishing
This weekend, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, penned an op-ed in the Houma Courier regarding the outdated red snapper fishery allocations in the Gulf of Mexico and the Regional Fishery Management Council's (RFMC) various options to update it.

Today marks the first of the RFMC's week-long public council meetings, during which the Members will continue their consideration of Amendment 28, a proposal of six options for updating allocations levels of allowable catch of red snapper beyond the historical high level of 9.12 million pounds.

Vitter originally requested Amendment 28 be considered during the nomination process for Dr. Kathryn Sullivan to be the Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Click here to read more.

In April 2013, Vitter introduced legislation that would extend state's offshore jurisdiction and would put states in charge of red snapper management. Click here to read more.


Houma Courier
Op-Ed: Protecting red snapper fishing
Sen. David Vitter
June 21, 2014

Like many of you, I was born and raised in Louisiana. And when you grow up in such a beautiful state, you develop an innate appreciation for Louisiana's abundant natural resources. That appreciation takes many forms - from a love of fishing to a sense of obligation to conserve our state's resources. We all share a responsibility to conserve these resources but also to protect our public access to them. And when it comes to fishing in the Gulf, there needs to be a mutual respect between the recreational anglers and commercial fishermen.

Gulf fishermen are an economic powerhouse for both Louisiana and the entire Gulf region, which makes protecting the public's access to these resources even more important. The group responsible for overseeing our fisheries and protecting this access is the Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Council.

But this group, supposedly dedicated to fairly managing our fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, continues to chip away at the rights of recreational anglers - particularly with access to the red snapper fishery. The RFMC is in place to protect the interests of the public, but some members of the Council continue to attack the recreational sector and end up doing the exact opposite. In fact, I have serious concerns that certain members are working to protect just a handful of fishermen. It seems like they're giving permanent access to public resources to a select few at the expense of the vast majority of fishermen.

Right now there are over 4 million recreational anglers, including charter boats, all the way from Florida to Texas, and nearly 400 commercial red snapper fishermen. However, the Gulf Council weighs the priorities of the few over the public. This was clearly seen in a recent decision to shorten the 2014 recreational season - from 40 days to 11 days. Then in May, the season was further reduced to only nine days. That shortens the red snapper season in federal waters by over a month. Now, I certainly understand the need to find a balance in allotment for recreational and commercial, but this recent decision was unnecessarily extreme.

The current allocation for the red snapper fishery - which hasn't been updated in over 24 years - is set at 51 percent commercial and 49 percent recreational. These percentages are based on data from 30 years ago when the stock was at an historic low. Since then the stock has greatly increased, yet the allocation levels have stayed the same.

For the livelihoods of Gulf Coast anglers and businesses that rely on the red snapper fishery, updating the outdated recreational allocation quotas is an urgent issue. That's why I have put my full support behind a solution - the so called "Amendment 28" and preferred "option 5." Both are currently awaiting approval by the council.

Adopting these provisions would maintain the current allocations if the red snapper quota is less than or equal to 9.12 million pounds. However, if the quota exceeds the 9.12 million pound mark, allocation levels would change with 75 percent of the excess amount to the recreational sector and 25 percent to the commercial sector. Further, Amendment 28 now includes measures to ensure accountability within the recreational sector, an inclusion that the commercial sector has been demanding for years. This fair compromise would demonstrate the Council's sincerity in promoting conservationism and trusting their own studies that show our recreational anglers contribute to the region.

As a Senator for the great state of Louisiana, I have the opportunity to work with the National Marine Fishery Service and keep a watchful eye on the Gulf Council. This is important because many families and jobs are affected by the Council's actions. The council should adhere to the highest standards of transparency and accountability with each decision they make.

But I'm just one voice - the council needs to hear from you. The public comment period for Amendment 28 and preferred option 5 is currently open, and you can submit your thoughts at www.gulfcouncil.org. There is also an opportunity to voice your opinions in person at the upcoming council meeting in Key West, Fla., on Monday.

Hopefully, the council will recognize that these solutions will most help the very people they were appointed to represent. Recreational anglers in the Gulf deserve a fair shot at what should be a shared resource. The council's actions and their decision needs to be based on sound science and fairness. It will affect economies, livelihoods, and our way of life across in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter is the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ICYMI: Economist: “Consumers will pay more for electricity” under Power Plant Rule
During today's Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing entitled, "Climate Change: The Need to Act Now," Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) discussed the impact of the President's recently announced rule on existing power plants will have on jobs and economic growth with Dr. Joseph Mason of Louisiana State University.

Dr. Mason responded, "To the extent the consumers in these States derive energy from plants in those States, again, those consumers will pay more for their electricity....We're getting to a level of policy implementation that is orders of magnitude greater than anything we've done before."

Earlier this month, Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced new regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants as part of the President's Climate Action Plan. This rule is expected to have a less than 2% impact on carbon emissions reductions because it will not impact the world's largest carbon emitters like China, India, and Russia. However, the rule will result in less reliable electricity with much higher prices on all Americans. Additionally, the rule encourages States to enter into cap-and-trade agreements, yet the rule does not detail how the transactions would be made. Click here to read a letter from 41 Senate Republicans asking President Obama to withdraw the cap-and-trade rule.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ICYMI: Former EPA Administrators Disagree with Obama Statement on Climate
In 2012, President Obama made a public statement about global temperatures that has since been proved to be untrue (here and here):

"We can't attribute any particular weather event to climate change. What we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago. We do know that the Arctic ice cap is melting faster than was predicted even five years ago. We do know that there have been extraordinarily -- there have been an extraordinarily large number of severe weather events here in North America, but also around the globe." (November 14, 2012 White House News Conference)

During today's Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing entitled, "Climate Change: The Need to Act Now," Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the Subcommittee's top Republican, asked four former Administrators of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to raise their hand if they agreed with President Obama's statement. None of the four witnesses raised their hand, and all remained silent.

Sen. Sessions: "So, I would ask each of our former [EPA] Administrators if any of you agree that is an accurate statement [from President Obama] on climate. So if you do, raise your hand. Thank you. The record will reflect no one raised their hands."

Click here to watch Sen. Sessions question the former EPA Administrators.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fact Check: Two Former EPA Administrators Agree U.S. Action Alone Will Not Impact Global Climate Change
During today's Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing entitled, "Climate Change: The Need to Act Now," the Honorable William Reilly, former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in his testimony:

"Absent action by China, Brazil, India and other fast-growing economies, what we do alone will not suffice." (June 18, 2014 Testimony before the Senate EPW Committee)

In 2009, then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said: "I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels." (July 7, 2009 Testimony before the Senate EPW Committee)

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the Chairman of the China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change, He Jiankun, announced that China is planning to begin capping their C02 emissions. However, the day after Jiankun's announcement, he backtracked and said his words were his personal opinion and not representative of the Chinese government. Currently, China is the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter and has no official plans to cap their greenhouse gas emissions.

Click here to read more about China's carbon plan.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fact Check on EPA's Power Plant Proposal
During today's Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety hearing entitled, "Climate Change: The Need to Act Now," the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said in her testimony:

"There is, of course, honest disagreement about aspects of the Agency's power plant proposal, including whether it may be stretching its legal authority a bit too far in some parts of the proposed rule."

According to the Attorney General for the State of Alabama, Luther Strange, EPA is clearly going beyond their authority.

"The Clean Air Act forbids regulating sources under Section 111(d) if they are regulated under section 112 of the Act....EPA has also improperly attempted to limit section 111(d)'s express statutory delegation of authority to the States." (June 18, 2014 Testimony before the Senate EPW Committee)

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Subcommittee Hearing on Climate Change
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety “Climate Change: The Need to Act Now”
Thank you, Subcommittee Chairman Whitehouse, for convening today's hearing. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses here today: Dr. Daniel Botkin; Dr. Joseph Mason; and the Honorable Luther Strange. The science, economic consequences, and legal underpinnings of the EPA's actions to advance the President's Climate Action Plan are topics the Administration does not want us to discuss. However, their unilateral actions will increase America's electricity bills, decrease a family's disposable income, and result in job losses for little or no measurable impact on our ever changing climate.

On June 2, EPA proposed an unprecedented rule targeting our country's electricity system. Using a provision in the Clean Air Act that has only been used 5 times in 40 years, EPA goes beyond the boundaries of the power plant and requires States to set performance standards that apply to the entire electricity system, mandating renewable energy and rationing energy on which families and businesses rely. EPA argues this rule is a gift to States, that it provides States with the flexibility to create a program that works for them. In reality, though, the term "flexibility" is a red herring - States are forced into achieving questionable emission reduction targets from a limited menu of economically-damaging and legally questionable options. States are left little choice but to join or create regional cap-and-trade programs, which achieves the Administration's goal of making sure we all pay more for energy. Electricity prices in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative states and California are 45% more than in my home state of Louisiana. 56% of Louisiana families spend an average of 21% of their after-tax income on energy. They simply cannot afford the higher electricity bills that will inevitably result from this rule.

The rule is billed as climate change mitigation, with America leading the way. Unfortunately, anyone who has actually read the 645-page rule, as well as its multiple technical support documents, finds it has no material effect on global average temperature or sea level rise. The majority of the benefits touted by EPA come from double-counting reductions of other emissions already regulated through other measures. While this Administration expects other governments to consider the global effects of their greenhouse gas emissions when regulating - just as they did when creating the "black box" social cost of carbon estimates used to justify costly regulations - there is absolutely no reason to presume the world's biggest emitters will follow us down the path of economic destruction.

While extreme claims made over the last three decades about the devastating impacts of global warming failed to come true, empirical evidence does show us that the Earth's climate has, is, and always will be changing. Recently, many of the extreme weather claims being made were found to be without merit. Testimony previously provided to the Committee found that the historical record does not indicate that hurricanes, floods, and tornados have increased in number or intensity. In fact the models upon which temperature increase and sea level rise predictions rely are rife with uncertainty. What has come true is the economic calamity that befalls nations that head down the path President Obama unilaterally selected for America. It provides us a window into our future - and it looks bleak. Our friends in Europe adopted similar carbon constraining frameworks, filled with government mandates and cronyism, and were rewarded with economic meltdown. In an effort to recover, Germany is lifting its ban on fracking and increasing the use of coal, while Spain is abandoning the handouts that supported its renewable energy program. Instead of embracing our domestic energy resources and the bright economic light they provide in our otherwise dismal economy, the President's Climate Action Plan moves us beyond coal, and eventually beyond natural gas, which they characterize as a bridge fuel.

The burden of proof lies with the Administration and its allies to provide the specifics as to how we can power our future with wind, waves and solar-and how we can do it, as they claim we can, quickly and without any cost to the consumer or the broader economy. It's one thing to call for, as some have, moving to "100 percent renewable energy in 10 years." But the problem is, those who have actually done the math, and examined the details, whether it's the Energy Information Administration, the International Energy Agency, or even the IPCC, find that they can't avoid this inescapable fact: fossil fuels and nuclear will continue to meet demand for electricity for decades to come. There's simply no way around it, because coal, natural gas and nuclear are abundant, affordable, and reliable. If we deny this and pursue the pie-in-the-sky path of the Administration and environmental groups, we will end up like Europe.

Today, the American electricity system provides affordable reliable power 7 days a week, 365 days a year to families, schools, hospitals, and businesses. The existing source rule as proposed will increase costs to all consumers, especially the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes for no material effect on climate change. In reality, this rule is essentially a federal takeover of the American electricity system. Is everyone here comfortable with the EPA being responsible for our electricity system?

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from today's witnesses.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Oversight Subcommittee Hearing on EPA's Superfund Program
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight “Protecting Taxpayers and Ensuring Accountability: Faster Superfund Cleanups for Healthier
Thank you, Subcommittee Chairman Booker, for convening today's hearing. In this committee we often do not conduct the appropriate level of oversight, particularly of EPA and the programs it administers, so I appreciate you scheduling this important hearing.

According to EPA figures, Louisiana has 26 Superfund sites. These sites are an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located, all of which can be found on the National Priorities List. Ensuring that these sites are cleaned up expeditiously is of great interest to both me and the people of Louisiana.

It seems clear to me that there has been widespread fraud, waste, and abuse by the EPA, and our number one priority as the committee of jurisdiction over the Agency should be to curtail these abuses and ensure that, at a time when Americans are forced to operate on tighter budgets, our government refrains from improperly wasting their hard-earned tax dollars.

One telling example of this kind of waste within EPA's vast bureaucracy is demonstrated by the Superfund program itself. Just yesterday, the EPA Inspector General found that EPA Region 9 improperly paid a contractor more than $1.5 million in additional profit for Superfund cleanup services.

It is rather ironic that the EPA and advocates for this administration complain about the lack of funding for the Superfund program when this program's shortcomings are based on a lack of leadership, poor resource management, and ineffective bureaucracy.

Luckily, within the Superfund context, this Administration has made clear that there is not a direct correlation between the amount of money in the Superfund Trust Fund and the Agency's ability to clean up future projects. In a July 2009 GAO report, EPA plainly stated that "the balance in the Superfund Trust Fund does not affect the funds available for current or future annual appropriations. Therefore, it cannot serve as a reliable indicator to responsible parties of EPA's ability to fund future cleanup actions."

As a matter of fact, this Administration accomplished fewer superfund cleanups in 2009 - a year during which they received $600 million in stimulus money - than any single year of the entire George W. Bush Administration. While the number of cleanups accomplished in 2009 was 20, even more disappointing is EPA's goal for the coming years, aiming to complete 15 sites in 2014 and only 13 in 2015.

I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure EPA is following the letter of the law and operating its programs in ways that provide meaningful environmental and health benefits, but I am concerned that we are again about to embark down the partisan path of implementing punitive taxes on specific industries that some choose to demonize.

Under current Superfund law, in a vast majority of instances the polluter already pays. Responsible parties are either required to perform cleanups or reimburse the government for EPA-led cleanups under the program. Other cleanups are funded by appropriations designed specifically for this program.

Implementing a blanket tax against domestic manufacturing or industries, such as refining, does not ensure the "polluter pays" - instead it ensures that our national competitiveness is diminished regardless of a company's involvement. And this is at a time when our national competitiveness is about to take a major hit from the President's newly proposed cap-and-trade program.

Thank you again, Subcommittee Chairman Booker, for holding this important hearing, and I look forward to learning about the ways we can improve the Superfund Program from the witnesses.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Breaking Down the Economics of Obama’s Waters of the U.S. Rule
The Obama Administration is currently attempting to expand the federal government's power under the Clean Water Act (CWA). EPW Republicans are concerned with the way this Administration's water-related policies threaten our nation's economy, families, farmers, and small business owners. Click here to read more.

In late March 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the proposed "waters of the United States" rule, which defines various terms, including "tributary," "adjacent waters," and "neighboring waters" that would fall under federal authority under the Clean Water Act. These definitions greatly expand the federal government's power over ditches, floodplains, and other areas through which water may flow. Along with the proposed rule, EPA and the Corps released an economic analysis, which claims that the proposed rule would result in a 2.7% increase in jurisdictional waterbodies and only 1,332 acres of land across the country would be subjected to new permitting requirements.

Independent analysis shows that the EPA and Corps severely underestimated the economic impacts of the proposed rule. Specifically, a review of Agencies' economic analysis by Dr. David Sunding, founding director of the Berkeley Water Center and Professor in the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, shows significant shortcomings in their methodology, which undermines the credibility of the agencies' economic analysis.

Below are notable issues regarding the Agencies' economic analysis:

Uninformed Methodology

As Dr. Sunding points out, EPA and the Corps repeatedly rely on statistical methods that do not account for the actual rulemaking or how the Clean Water Act really works. For example, in reaching the conclusion that 1,332 acres of land would be impacted, the Agencies failed to recognize that numerous waters never previously subject to the CWA's permitting requirements would become subject to federal authority under the proposed rule. The Agencies also focused narrowly on the CWA's section 404 dredge and fill program, when in fact, the law contains numerous other regulatory schemes that would be expanded under the proposal.

Outdated, Unreliable Data

EPA's and the Corps' use of the 2009-2010 time period as a baseline to estimate the impacts of the proposed rule is misleading.

To determine how jurisdiction might change for the newly defined categories of waters, EPA and the Corps relied on narrow data sets from 2009-2010. During those two fiscal years, a number of regulated entities, including landowners, were not required to apply for Section 404 permits under the CWA. However, under the proposed rule, landowners and developers would have to consider all water and wetlands, including ditches and puddles, as being under federal jurisdiction, therefore dramatically increasing the number of permit applications.

Additionally, 2009 through 2010 was at the height of the financial crisis. According to Dr. Sunding's review, construction and land development slowed significantly, as did the number of relevant permit applications and permit filings. Statistically, these two years are not representative of what the proposed rule would do and lowered the estimated impacts.

Lack of Transparency

EPA and the Corps have not shared or made public much of the underlying data used to estimate the impacts of the proposed "waters of the United States" rule. This is not atypical for the Agencies. However, considering the numerous weak points in their economic analysis, it is inappropriate to justify the proposed "waters of the United States" rule, which will have a significant economic impact across the country, with secret data and flawed methodologies.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement on NRC Oversight Hearing
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works “Oversight Hearing: NRC’s Implementation of the Fukushima Near-Term Task Force Recommendations and Other Actions to Enhance and Maintain Nuclear Safety”
Thank you, Chairman Boxer, for convening today's hearing, and I would also like to thank our NRC commissioners for being here to testify before this committee.

Lately, various members on this committee have been very proactive in attempting to change how the NRC manages itself and our nation's nuclear-powered electricity generating facilities. In recent months, we have seen legislation, letters, and statements from my colleagues in favor of new, and might I add, mostly unnecessary regulations.

Today I want to urge our commissioners to be precise and direct in their thoughts on these initiatives and to commit to using the best available science and facts to ensure that any new rules and regulations are actually necessary for our fleet, which happens to have a long track record of safety.

Members of Congress should not be committed to regulating just for the sake of regulating. Such a mindset results in economic hardship and a diminished capacity for our energy sector to meet the needs of this nation.

There exists a base-line standard that the Commission should meet when considering new regulations, and I would like to commend the Commission for basing their recent vote, to eliminate further generic assessments to expedite the transfer of spent fuel from pools to dry storage, on facts and sound science.

While some of my colleagues may disagree with the Commission and myself on this issue, it is important to note that the NRC staff who recommended the elimination of these generic assessments had extensively studied the issue and compiled all available data to make the best possible recommendation.

As most of you are aware, this past Monday EPA Administer Gina McCarthy and President Obama released new regulations for carbon emissions from existing power plants as part of the President's Climate Action Plan. While the President's efforts to kill coal-fired generation are obvious and already underway, a more subversive effort to cripple the nuclear industry is also ongoing.

When he first announced the Climate Action plan, the President notoriously stated that he supports an "all-of-the-above" approach. The disingenuous nature of this claim requires only a cursory review of recent actions by the Administration. For the nuclear sector, the work being done to undermine the waste confidence rule and kill the Yucca Mountain project is a clear example of a long-term strategy to shut down more of our nation's nuclear reactors.

Another example is the recent 316(b) rule for cooling water intake systems. Although EPA's rule this time around may not look like it will have the critical impact many in the environmental community had hoped, it will certainly be litigated and whatever deal the EPA cuts behind closed doors will assuredly be worse.

I firmly believe that nuclear energy should play a role in meeting our domestic energy needs. However, I am concerned that Senate Democrats are using these hearings to provide cover for their efforts to kill nuclear generation in their own states, which has only served to decrease the output and capacity of our nation's reliable nuclear reactor fleet. Ironically, these shutdowns will increase greenhouse gas emissions as states struggle to find other baseload power.

Continued efforts to force the NRC to needlessly pursue regulations, which offer no real safety gains, is a classic example of the sprawling big government mindset that persists in Washington.

Finally, I would like to state my concern on the lack of communication from the NRC or the Administration about the re-nomination of Commissioner Apostolakis whose term is up at the end of this month, as well as a replacement for Commissioner Magwood when he vacates his seat later this year. Keeping these positions filled by qualified individuals must remain a priority to ensure the safety of our constituents and for our nation's economy. I urge the Administration to act on this quickly so that the Commission can continue its important work without interruption or distractions.

Again, thank you very much for being here, and I look forward to hearing from you on these important issues.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vitter Summary Statement for Subcommittee Hearing on Farming, Fishing, Forestry & Hunting
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Green Jobs “Farming, Fishing, Forestry and Hunting in an Era of Changing Climate”
Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you for holding today's hearing that focuses on the impacts of our ever-changing climate. I have encouraged this Committee to take a precise look at the purported impacts of carbon dioxide (CO2) on climate and to compare those to the empirical evidence. Rather than speaking in hyperbole, I think it is important for members of the Senate and members of the media to speak in a precise, direct manner.

Unfortunately, precise dialogue is not always the case. Time and again, we have heard outlandish and often conflicting claims about the devastating impacts of America's reliance on affordable energy. Whether we look at the 1974 Time Magazine article that suggested we were about to enter another ice age, or an article from last week in the same publication that suggested global warming could "sink the Statute of Liberty," or if we simply review the many extreme claims of White House Science Advisor John Holdren, it is no longer appropriate to sound the alarm on predictions that are not supported by empirical evidence or a sound scientific process.

Yesterday, the President announced sweeping power plant regulations that will set America on a path similar to that of Europe's. Should these rules be enacted, we are looking at a future of increased energy prices, heavy-handed government regulation, deteriorating competitiveness, and economic decline. Currently, many European countries are desperately seeking a way out of the path that the President has proposed, which makes me question why the President is aggressively pursuing a failed energy policy for America.

We all know that the climate changes. It has been changing since the beginning of time. The question that needs to be asked, and answered precisely and honestly, is what is the impact of human activity on climate, and what are the appropriate actions, if any, that should be implemented.

Today's hearing asks the Committee to examine the impacts of climate change on farming, fishing, forestry, and hunting. I think the public would be well served to pay close attention to the testimony of Dr. David Legates, as he will testify to the pressure in the scientific community to agree without question to a one-sided view that supplants the scientific process with the notion of consensus. Additionally, Dr. David South will discuss the impact of forest management policies on forest fires. His testimony leads to a logical conclusion, which is that active forest management allows for the harvest of overgrown forests, which would lessen the number and severity of forest fires, and that the claimed relation of forest fires to CO2 emissions is dubious at best. Counting the benefits of sound forest management is typically lost on those who are pushing an anti-fossil fuel agenda in favor of regulatory cap-and-trade.

I would ask that a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled "The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%'" be entered into the record. The article underscores the fact that claims of scientific consensus over climate change are not as clear cut as anti-fossil fuel advocates would have you believe. Additionally, I would like to enter Dr. Richard Tol's testimony from last week's House Science Committee hearing. Dr. Tol, one of the IPCC's most senior and expert reviewers, left the IPCC earlier this year over concern with the lack of precision and forthrightness in the IPCC process. He also balks at the 97% myth. I also ask that these additional research and articles provided by our Republican witnesses be submitted for the record.

We are at a critical stage in the United States as we determine what type of energy policy we will have. What the President is attempting to do will unilaterally shift the country toward a policy that guarantees increased energy prices and a less competitive economy. I think that is the wrong path, and I hope this hearing will highlight the need for a more precise accounting of the science.

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